"Conserving Energy, Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Insulating for the Future"

Alberta, and Canada, are moving forward on climate leadership plans and initiatives across the economy. Energy efficiency and conservation measures will play a vital role in achieving climate goals and targets. Local 110 is engaged in climate plans and energy solutions for the Commercial and Industrial sectors.

Local 110 has participated in the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan consultations since August 2015, promoting Mechanical Insulation's role in achieving energy efficiency across the Institutional, Commercial, and Industrial (ICI) buildings sector, and the industrial sector such as SAGD, upgrader, and related large GHG emitter facilities.

Mechanical insulation is an available technology that presents revenue-positive opportunities for Clients and Contractors to achieve GHG reductions, kWh efficiencies, water savings, and support Alberta manufacturers, Alberta facility operations, and create Green Jobs, including for Local 110.

Key Local 110 Opportunities:

Insulation Energy Appraisal

An Insulation Energy Appraisal is usually performed in two visits to a building or facility. On the first visit, the appraiser(s) gather information from the building or plant manager, the energy manager and others involved with the site operations. On the second visit the appraiser(s) measure all pipes, ducts, and/or equipment insulated and uninsulated.

Local 110 is now able to facilitate this important service for Clients and Contractors across the ICI Buildings sector in Alberta, as well as for the SME and Industrial sector, such as SAGD, upgrader, power plant, and related large GHG emitter facilities.


NECB 2015 – National Energy Code for Buildings 2015

The NECB 2015 includes over ninety changes improving the overall energy performance of buildings over the NECB 2011 edition, including the first substantive updates to mechanical insulation thickness standards in the national energy code since 1989. Updates and information on correct practice for the installation and use of mechanical insulation are also found in the new energy code, which Local 110 insulators already are familiar with and follow, to achieve better energy use performance and efficiency objectives for Clients and Contractors.

The new NECB 2015 insulation thickness standards and best practice guidelines bring better energy savings opportunities for Clients and Contractors.









PITT (Promotion of the Insulator Trade Trust) Fund UPDATES 


I hope the following Updates will be helpful.  If you have any questions about them, please always feel free to give me a call at the union office 780 426-2874 extension 224.  As you scroll down, you will find previous date Updates starting on March 12, 2013.

Kyle Matuk

Client and Contractor Liaison


July 11, 2013 Thursday


1.  Old Strathcona Pancake Breakfast – Saturday July 13


One of our Local 110 members, Susan M, is passing along an invitation to Local 110 members to meet her at Dr Wilbert McIntyre Park in Old Strathcona (83 Avenue and 104 Street) where NDP Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan is hosting a free pancake breakfast with all the fixings.


The event is taking place during ‘Art Walk’.  The Edmonton Public Library will also be there celebrating its 100th Anniversary. 


Come one, come all.  It’s a good opportunity for Local 110 members to share some downtime together and with the public in an enjoyable environment on Saturday July 13 from 10:00 a.m. until noon.


2.  ‘Run for the Brave’ – Support CapitalCare’s everyday heroes


Local 110 member Susan M is encouraging all Local 110 members to register for the CapitalCare Foundation’s 10th Annual ‘Run for the Brave’ in support of residents living in CapitalCare continuing care facilities.  Register online: www.runningroom.com.


The CapitalCare Foundation was originally created to support veterans who served in World War II and Korea, but has expanded  the run to support all residents needing nursing care.  The charity run/walk provides Canadians with a way to say ‘thank you’ to the Veterans who served our country and the elders who pioneered it.


This year’s Run for the Brave will feature a series of stories from Veterans and everyday heroes living in Edmonton area CapitalCare facilities, creating a personal connection between participants and residents they are fundraising for.  Meet some of our everyday heroes at www.capitalcarefoundation.net.


The run/walk will take place on Saturday August 24, 2013 at the Edmonton Garrison over a flat course for 1K, 5K and 10K.  It is a wheelchair friendly event.  The race starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Lecture Training Facility, Bldg 407 Korea Road, Edmonton Garrison, straight north of Edmonton on Hwy 28 (97 street).


For the 10K event, it costs 45 dollars to register (50 dollars after August 7); for the 5K event, it costs 30 dollars (35 dollars after August 7); for the 1K event, it costs 15 dollars (20 after August 7).

*Individuals raising $150 dollar pledges can choose the no fee option at the time of registration.  Registration fees cannot be refunded once paid.


There will be a post-race military pancake breakfast.  There will be cool treats from Dairy Queen and awards for race winners. There will be the option of climbing aboard armored vehicles.


Those who are interested can pick up their race kit at Namao Centre running room on Thursday, august 22 and Friday, August 23, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at 9610 – 165 Avenue in Edmonton.


Pledges made online through the Running room are subject to a 5% administration fee.  Tax receipts will be issued for pledges over 25 dollars.


Lets get a group of Local 110 members out to support this worthy cause and get some exercise at the same time.


Note:  If any Local 110 member has a charitable event they want to encourage other Local 110 members to attend with them, let me know and I will post it on this page.  Lets get out in the community and show everyone we care.


July 3, 2013 Wednesday


1.  Bill C-377 that would impose onerous and unnecessary obligations for unions to disclose financial information is amended by the Canadian Senate


Local 110 and other unions across the country have been objecting to the Conservative Party led federal government's proposed Bill C-377 which would amend the Income Tax Act so that labour organizations would have to publicly disclose expenses.  If the unions are required to do that it, it would expose their operation in ways that is not required of other organizations in Canada.  The proposed changes were seen by labour as nothing more than an attack on labour that would cause a lot of administrative expense to each and every union in order to meet the proposed requirements. 


On June 26, the Canadian Senate, including a large contingent of Conservative Senators, made significant amendments to the bill which firstly limit that financial disclosure to only unions with more than 50,000 members and then only for expenses that are well beyond what Local 110 for example would be expending. 


When parliament reconvenes this fall, the government can either accept the Senate’s changes to the bill; ignore the changes and send the same legislation back to the Senate again; or not pursue passing the bill at all.


This most recent outcome in the Senate suggests that the objections to the bill by unions and members of those unions, aimed at the public and politicians, has had an affect.  When Parliament resumes in the fall, if there is any attempt by the government to send the bill back to the Senate unchanged, it would be helpful if every union member who stands to be negatively affected by this bill, lobbies their Member of Parliament and others to oppose it more.  


July 2, 2013 Tuesday


1.  HfH (Habitat for Humanity) Union Built home – Progress report – Volunteers still needed from Local 110


During May and June, walls and floors for the ‘Union Built home’ in Edmonton were completely prefabbed in the HfH shop just off Yellowhead freeway with volunteers from a number of ABTC (Alberta Building Trades Council) unions.  Local 110 provided a presence there for a few days with three volunteers to do some of that work.  See previous Updates I’ve done earlier here on this page reflecting about what this good will initiative is all about.


The wet weather has delayed work on digging the basement hole and putting in the foundation.  It will be close to the end of July before the building will resume.  Volunteers will then be scheduled for the ongoing work that has to be done.  Any Local 110 members interested in volunteering please give me a call and I will get your names registered with HfH.  You can then check you schedule out on an ongoing basis and offer your help when it suits you and they are short volunteers. 


Volunteers do not have to be skilled at doing the different kinds of work that need to be done on these houses.  There are skilled workers there that work with the volunteers to get the work done.  It is a learning experience for volunteers in addition to the satisfaction they will get helping those in need.


June 27, 2013 Thursday


1. Audiometric testing for insulators not meeting OHS requirements


For many decades in Alberta since our union got its charter in 1950, employers in many industries have put people to work on many jobsites where there was excessive noise, using minimal control measures to reduce that noise and protect the workers from it.  The result has been many Albertans developing significant hearing loss that over time eventually requires hearing aids.  Our Local 110 membership has been no exception.


The Alberta government and its regulatory bodies ignored the problem all that time, dismissing requests from labour to do something about it.  I sat on a number of OHS committees over the years asking for and urging the regulatory authorities to remedy the problem.  One of the things I asked for were periodic hearing tests like are done elsewhere, to identify any early hearing loss a worker has, so that steps could be taken to protect them from further hearing loss.


By comparison, in our neighboring Province of British Columbia, the authorities there many years ago put in place regulatory requirements for employers to do audiometric (hearing) tests that would identify early hearing loss before it became significant.  With that health screening being done, workplaces with high enough noise levels to cause any hearing loss were quickly identified and employers there were forced to put control measures in place to eliminate those noise hazards.  Those control measures might include insulating equipment to muffle the sound, changing the way something is done to lessen the level of noise or as a last resort providing adequate personal protective equipment.


The affect of noise regulations in Bristish Columbia respecting workers from there versus the affect on workers from Alberta with its noise regulations, as one person put it to me, is obvious. When you go into a border town in one province near the other one and see a room full of seniors talking, you can pick out the Albertans quite quickly in many cases.  They are the ones with hearing aids or who are straining to hear what is being said during the conversations they are having.


Regulations were passed a few years ago in Alberta that now also require audiometric (hearing) tests on a periodic basis here when  a worker is working in an industry where there is potential for noise to cause hearing loss.  The tests are required when noise monitoring was done to confirm that they had that kind of noise exposure, or when the employer concedes that there was no such noise monitoring done and it was possible noise levels there could have been excessive enough to require the tests.  In the industrial construction industry, most of the jobsites our Local 110 membership works on have that potential, at least in some areas of the plants.  Many areas of those jobs are monitored on an ongoing basis and identify a wide range of noise levels, some hazardous and some not.  However, few if any of the employers signatory to our union are documenting how much time is spent in each area by each insulator to figure out if the exposure was enough to warrant a hearing test(s). That means many of our members are not getting the tests done that should be getting the tests done.  It is difficult to say which of them should have to be tested because of the lack of documentation. 


When a test is required in accordance with these OHS regulations, they are required be done on company time and within a set period of time and again periodically after that. The Bargaining Agent for Local 110’s signatory contractors has confirmed that there is only a very small fraction of insulators working through our union have had these audiometric tests given that should have had them given.


Local 110 have taken that up with its signatory employers and is working on finding a resolve to it.  This Update is meant to make the Local 110 membership aware of that.  It is important for each member to follow up with your employer(s) and the union if necessary to ensure that you get these hearing tests done, so that noise hazards are better addressed in your work places wherever it is a problem. 


Travelers and Permit Workers, including TFWs (temporary foreign workers) should also be getting these audiometric tests done after they’ve worked on such sites long enough to warrant it.


June 20, 2013 Thursday


1. Information about benefits Local 110 provides its membership


There are many benefits the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Union Local 110 provide for its membership or ensure with its signatory contractors for its membership, not the least of which is excellent wages, a safe work place, representation respecting work place issues and job security.


In my role promoting the Local 110 union as Marketing Director, I’ve come to realize that many of our membership are not aware of some specific benefits that apply to individuals only when certain circumstances arise.  They are valuable benefits, but only if the member and his or her family are aware of them and in that way utilize them.  Likewise, there are some union rules and practices they know little about or have misconceptions about.


In 'one on one' discussion I’ve had with many members about such benefits and union rules/practices, it was not surprising to find they didn’t know a lot about or everything there is to know about them. Unless a member has been involved in an administrative role with the union, or experienced these benefits and rules/practices, or had some in depth discussion with someone at the union about them, they understandably are not going to be all that familiar with them.  For that reason, I have taken to calling members and encouraging calls from members to me so that I can discuss the following list of benefits, union rules/practices, so that they will have a better understanding of them:

  • International Union’s Three Strikes and you are possibly out of the union rule; and
  • Local 110 Absenteeism monitoring/repercussions rule; and
  • WoW Center Health Risk Assessments and follow up health screening and specialist appointments; and
  • Mandatory on company time audiometric testing to ensure your hearing is protected; and
  • Health and Welfare Plan Health Spending Account’s 500 dollar additional coverage; and
  • RSAP registration as an alternative to pre-access drug and alcohol testing; and
  • ‘Indust Const Crew Supervisor designation' (May 5/12 $1.00 more per hour); and
  • ‘Salting’ non union jobs to police members working there in violation of the union's Rules and Bylaws, and to identify prospective new members there for the union Organizers to make contact with; and
  • ‘Best Doctors’ providing a second opinion respecting critical health problems; and
  • Death benefits: Health & Welfare / Pension / Mortuary Plan / dependents coverage / accrued pension and or Health and Welfare benefits paid in advance for shortened life expectancy
  • Critical illnesss lump sum payment for specified critical health conditions; and
  • Defined Contribution Plan option for retirees after they start drawing their Defined Benefit monthly pension at age 60; and
  • Job Sharing for those who want to semi-retire doing insulating work; and
  • Retiree extended Health &Welfare benefits – 5 years coverage when no employer contributions being paid into the Health and Welfare Plan for them.


There are many other benefits that Local 110 members enjoy, provided for by the union itself and the various Trust Funds that the union has created:  Pension Plan; Health and Welfare Plan; Training Trust Fund; PITT (Promotion of the Insulator Trade Trust) Fund; and the union’s WoW (Wellness of Workers) Center.  There are also many other union rules and practices that all members are required to abide by.  I will take the time to describe the above referred to benefits and union rules/practices to any member who calls, as well any other ones they ask about, referring them to the best person in the office suited and designated to address any follow up questions after that. 


Local 110 provides not just an ‘Alberta advantage’ as the political slogan goes….it provides for an  ‘Alberta UNION Advantage’.


June 19, 2013 Wednesday


1.  Job Sharing for semi-retired Local 110 members


Recently, a fully retired Local 110 journeyman was in our office to pay his mortuary assessment and commented to me that he is enjoying retirement, but noted he misses doing the insulating work he did for so many years.  He said he is physically able and would like to take a referral to go to work, but does not want to do that and then quit after only short periods of time he wants to work off and on.  He noted that wouldn’t sit well with him and he doubts it would go over well with the contractors either.


I asked him if he was aware of the clause language we have in our Construction Agreement which allows our signatory employers the option of putting in Work Orders to the Union for journeymen and apprentice insulators to job share on a team basis any one or more full time equivalent positions, working a two or three or four week work cycle that the employer would specify in the Work Order.


There can be two or three or four workers share one full time position.


Details about how these teams would work are reflected in the Letter of Understanding in our Construction Agreement on page 134.    It is anticipated that the lesser number of days that each team member will have to work over whatever periods of time they would do this will be ideal for semi-retired insulators who want to make some part time wages. Yet, the team approach will allow for them to take as much as three quarters of the time off that someone working a full time position would have to work.  For obvious reasons, these shared positions would likely have to be within the retiree’s home area.


We currently have no members working a shared position, but this one member referred to above says he would like to do that if there are any other member(s) interested in sharing a position with him.  I committed to blasting out an email to our membership making them aware of this, putting this Update on my Marketing Director page to see if there are any other members interested and otherwise broadcasting it to our retirees / prospective retirees.


If there are multiple members interested in doing this, I will approach some of our contractors to see if they are interested in trying the concept out.  It can only be done if the contractor chooses to do so.  There are plenty of good reasons for a contractor to make such positions available in this way, such as: there is going to come soon a time when there will be a big shortage of such skilled manpower; the lesser amount of time each team member is working over the course of a year will more liken good attendance at work overall for that position; these long time members are typically very reliable and skilled; there are provisions within the above referred to Letter of Understanding that ensure it costs the employer no more to hire a team of workers for a position than an individual for the position. 


Any Local 110 members interested in sharing a job with another member(s), please feel free to give me a call and I will try to facilitate it (780 426-2874 extension 224).


June 18, 2013 Tuesday 


1.  WoW (Wellness of Workers) Center staff report


Almost two years ago, the Wellness of Workers Centre (WoW) opened its doors to the Local 110 members in good standing, including retirees, their spouses and children of members covered under the member’s health benefit plan. To date we have seen 264 Local 110 members/retirees, 27 spouses and 2 children. There is no cost to attend WoW.


WoW’s goal of identifying risk factors that predispose the worker/family member to the chronic diseases such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity has been very successful. More than 50% of the attendee’s to WoW have required a referral to a lung or heart specialist doctor – many needed to see both specialists.  By identifying risk factors early, intervention (treatment) can begin early and disease processes slowed down or sometimes even eliminated. This means the person feels better and that’s what WoW is all about.  


During the WoW appointment, you will be interviewed by a Registered Nurse for about one hour where questions will be asked about your health history, your parents health history and an exposure history which will help identify risk factors to your well-being. This is called the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). A Pulmonary Function Test and a Chest X Ray will follow for members. Spouses might also have those tests done if the HRA warrants it.  You may be given a requisition for blood work depending on the HRA risk factors identified, and whether or not you have recently had blood work completed by your family doctor. The whole appointment takes approximately 2 hours. Once all the test results are back, an Occupational Medicine Specialist (a Doctor who specializes in exposures)  reviews it and suggests referrals if necessary to other specialists (heart and lung for example)  that he believes would benefit you. The nurse will contact you about these appointments.


To date, because of Local 110’s members attendance at WoW, Asthma, Chronic Lung Disease (COPD), Emphysema, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease are just some of the illnesses that have been found.  Many were not aware they had a health issue.  Early treatment of these disorders slows down their impact on the person. And that’s good for everyone – the worker, their family, the employer, and our health care system. The cost for treating Chronic Diseases is tremendous. With early identification and successful treatment, costs are lessened.


Additionally, because of the information we have gathered about lung health of workers exposed to dusts and particulates, we can lobby the government for change in legislation, standardized testing and compensation. To make your case stronger, WoW needs to see more insulators. So help us to help you! Spread the word about WoW and make sure you book an appointment if we haven’t seen you already.  


We have received funding for a respiratory educator who is doing this solely for the WoW program. Heather is a Registered Respiratory Therapist who supports, teaches and follows all of the WoW members referred to the lung specialist. She works with you to understand your lung issue, the medication prescribed and how to use an inhaler device properly if prescribed for you. She is available to answer any of your questions related to lung health. Often people prescribed an inhaler like Advair or Symbicort stop taking their medication because they don’t “feel” the medication working, or don’t “feel” different. They don’t realize the medication is  doing exactly what it is meant to do – keeping your airways open. The next time you come in for your breathing test, we will be able to show you that by staying on your breathing medication your lungs are working better, even if you can’t feel it.  If you take blood pressure medication – you don’t ‘feel’ it working either but it is. Having healthy lungs helps keep your heart healthy too. 


Worried about Mesothelioma? New research in Mesothelioma has identified a biomarker called Fibulin 3.  Up until now, most Mesothelioma type lung cancer is only detected in the late stage and options for treatment are limited.  Fibulin 3  detects early stage Mesothelioma.  WoW hopes to participate in testing of asbestos exposed insulators in the months to come. Cost of the test has not been clarified, but most likely in the range of $400.00.


June 17, 2013 Monday


1.  Mesothelioma health-screening of insulators in Alberta


Our Local 110 WoW (Wellness of Workers) Center has been following the progress of some mesothelioma health screening being done by others that involves drawing blood and identifying the bio marker ‘Fibulin-3’ which is an indicator of this disease progressing.  With workers who have a high risk of developing lung cancer because of more extensive asbestos exposure, the screening includes CT scans. 


Insulation contractors have been raising funds the past few years to have mesothelioma screening done for union and non-union insulators throughout Western Canada.  They started a Western Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation.  Last year they donated 100,000 dollars to have such health screening done in British Columbia.  That funding allowed for 200 tests for those that met the criteria to have them. 


It has been estimated that in Alberta it will cost 400 dollars per worker for blood and CT scans respecting baseline tests and another 400 dollars per worker if they do another screen at year one.  It will cost more per worker if some grants being applied for are not approved.  The Western Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation has the past year raised another 100,000 dollars plus that they are making available for this testing in Alberta.


I’ve been approached by some people who’ve been looking to do some massive screening of workers exposed to asbestos in Alberta through our union, asking how many of our membership would fit the criteria that would prompt such blood tests and CT scans for them.  There are certainly many who’ve had varying degrees of exposure, ranging from a little to a lot.  The HRAs (Health Risk Assessments) our members have been getting done at our WoW Center will make it easier to identify those who need this additional screening.  More funding through our union and otherwise will be necessary to accommodate the degree of testing that needs to be done. 


Doctor Melenka, a Respirologist doing work in our WoW Center in Edmonton is getting involved in these discussions with other Doctors from Vancouver and Calgary to determine how our union’s membership might participate in this screening, possibly through the WoW Center.  I will provide further Updates here as more information becomes available in respect to all of this.


There are steps have been taken to bring about this health screening in Saskatchewan as well and it is expected that the Foundation will be reaching out to Manitoba workers also.


June 4, 2013 Tuesday


1. Asbestos – Detecting Device has Potential to Reduce Mesothelioma Incidence


Here is some interesting and encouraging news about a handheld device that has been developed in the UK that can detect invisible asbestos fibers instantly.  At the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, researchers are reportedly “in the final stages of developing the first portable, real-time airborne asbestos detector” (The Mesothelioma Center publication).  When they say ‘real time’, they mean that the device gives on the spot results. The device is about 8” x 5” x 2” in size.


Previous dust detectors have been able to determine the presence of fibrous minerals but haven’t been able to distinguish asbestos fibers from other fibers like mineral wool, fiberglass and gypsum. 

Scientists have been trying to develop a device like this for decades.


Up until now, testing for airborne asbestos fibers involved collecting an air sample and then sending the sample to a testing facility for examination with x-ray technology.  It was a time consuming and costly process.


Repeated exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma, a cancer that has no cure known to date.  Workers will be able to use the device to check for asbestos before, during and after a project.  It could save numerous lives in addition to saving countless dollars in medical care.


I am understanding that the device works in this way:

  • A sample of airborne particles is collected with the device and exposed to a magnetic field; and
  • A laser is directed at the sample; and
  • The light in the laser bounces off the particles and scatters to form unique patterns; and
  • The resulting patterns are captured and identified.

The process can be done in several minutes.  The other more time consuming process referred to above that has been used all these many years takes many hours or days to identify the asbestos fibers depending on access to the labs and type of labs that the process takes place in.


This new device is currently being tested at known asbestos sites throughout the United Kingdom where asbestos removal or renovation is taking place.  In every test of the device thus far, the detector has correctly identified the presence of asbestos.


Researchers hope to bring the device to market in 12 to 18 months.  It is estimated that it will cost around 700-800 dollars and they hope to soon after reduce the price as production increases following the initial product launch.  The goal is to make the device affordable for individual workers to carry with them into their places of work.


I have notified our signatory contractors about this device through communicating to the Alberta Construction Labour Relations Association's Insulator Trade Division and the General Presidents' Committee, asking them to in turn communicate it to the companies they negotiate Collective Agreements for/with.


This is great news for workers that will now be able to identify a hazard that is otherwise unknown and avoid exposure that causes asbestos cancers including mesothelioma, but we still need to find a cure for those cancers.  Our Wow Center is focused on contributing to that through the health monitoring it is doing and working with other organizations to bring that about.  This is a gentle reminder to all of our members to make an appointment and go there for the bio tests that will assist in that process.


April 19, 2013 Friday


1. Day of Mourning for workers on April 28

This is another reminder about April 28 being a Day of Mourning for workers who've passed away after incurring work related injuries.  There is an earlier Update here that reflects about that in more detail.  It notes that the PITT Fund has done some radio advertising to reflect all of this and that our membership are mourning on that date the co-workers we've seen pass away over the years.


Here is a link that you can go to to hear one of the messages.  Click here.


There are three different messages (see previous April 10 Update for the wording of each message) going to play on  numerous different radio stations starting on Wednesday next week through to and including Sunday April 28.


The radio stations have committed to provide me next week with dates, times and which stations the messages will play on and staff will send out a blast email to those of you who have smart phones provided by the union or who have given the union an email address to have those emails sent to. 


April 15, 2013 Monday


1. Membership Information / picture display screen in union office


Our PITT Fund (Promotion of the Insulator Trade trust Fund) in our Edmonton union office has inset into the hallway wall a large electronic display screen that has a computer linked to it that displays information for our members to get from it with a touch screen interactive menu.  On the menu is a list of headings for members to touch which will bring up information about:


  • Local 110 Members (for those members who choose to have that information displayed)


  • Camps in Alberta (who owns the camp, location of it, number of rooms, phone number, GPS coordinates for it)


  • Alberta MLAs and MPs (name, pnone number, address, email address, website)


Our computer consultant will be working with our office staff here to get a list of signatory contractor contact numbers for company payroll staff, so that information can be added to the display screen menu also.  If there are any other fields of information anyone thinks would be helpful for members to access when they are at the union office, please give me a call and discuss it so that we might include it on the menu also.


The PITT Fund is working with our computer consultant to try and set up an electronic display screen in the Calgary office that will feed off of the computer in the Edmonton office to download the information from the computer in Edmonton  and display it in Calgary, refreshing the information on the screen at least once a day.


Some members are sensitive about having some types of information displayed or any information displayed for others to access.  If a member chooses not to have any information displayed, nothing will be displayed in respect to that member. They can otherwise choose to display one or more of the following:

  • name
  • picture of their choosing (can send one in or have one taken at the union office by staff there)
  • home address
  • phone number
  • current employment status (the program is set up to automatically reflect any changes done through dispatch)
  • contractor they are working for (the program is set up to automatically reflect any changes done through dispatch)
  • site they are working on (the program is set up to automatically reflect any changes done through dispatch)
  • date they joined the union as a member
  • email address


A member can choose at any time in writing to notify the union to discontinue displaying any of the above or all of the above forthwith after the notice is received by union staff.


Note:  The union, in accordance with privacy legislation is restricted from giving out any of the above information for one member to another member that comes in and requests it unless it done through this above referred to process or something like it.  Typically when a member asks for example another member's phone number, the best the union can do is call the other member and let them know or leave a message advising them who is requesting them to call them back.  It is an awkward process and can't always be tended to by staff in as timely a way as members would like.  Sometimes a member who is considering whether or not to take a particular job wants to check out who else is on that job and can see that information for those members who allow it to be shown.  Having said that, there are many good reasons why some members choose not to have some or any of the information referred to above displayed.  


A member is asked to fill out the following form and sign it to authorize the display of any of the above information if they choose.  You can print this below form text off at home and send it in with a picture of your choosing so that the information of your choosing is uploaded onto this above referred to display screen:


The following fields will be displayed at the information kiosk that will be located in the main hall of the union office.


Beside each of the following fields please check the YES (Y) or NO (N)

A ‘Y’ will signify that your GIVE the union permission to display that field of information

A “N’ will signify that you do DO NOT give the union permission to display that field of information

Please check a ‘Y’ or ‘N’ for each field

                                                                                    Y                      N

PICTURE                                                                  ___                  ___

NAME                                                                       ___                  ___

*note – Name permission field is N, no information will appear on the kiosk screen

FULL ADDRESS                                                       ___                  ___

PHONE NO                                                               ___                  ___

EMPLOYMENT STATUS                                           ___                  ___

CURRENT CONTRACTOR                                        ___                  ___

CURRENT PROJECT                                                ___                  ___

DATE JOINED LOCAL 110                                        ___                  ___


Please provide any email address that you would like to see displayed

Email Address(s)  ____________________________________


MEMBER’S FULL NAME                Please print



Please sign and date the form below:

_____________________________              _____________________

Signature                                                                    Date


April 12, 2013 Friday


1.  Local 110 Travel Card registry working well but employment opportunities are currently slow for Travelers


Early last year, Local 110 began developing a Travel Card registry  for our area to provide for separate lists of ‘Travelers’ from within Canada and the United States for our dispatch staff to dispatch from when our union cannot fill calls for journeymen with Local 110 members.  You will find on our website’s home page a heading ‘Travelers’ to click on that brings you to an explanation page about how that works.  The Travelers can read that explanation page and then register on line with us to get a spot on one of those lists.


The computer program for that registry was completed in short order last year and Local 110 corresponded to all of the Locals affiliated with our International Union in Canada and the United States inviting their memberships to register.  We also corresponded to any Traveler that had worked in our area in more recent times that we had an address for inviting them individually to register.  A large number of Travelers registered and continue to register, indicating on their profile whether or not they are available for work.  They can only come to work here if their own union agrees to let them have a Travel Card.


We reflect on our Local 110 website’s ‘Dispatch’ page all of our Work Orders each day received from our signatory employers, so that Local 110 members, Canadian Travelers, Canadian Permit Workers and United States Traveler can review it on line in the evening and call in the next day to bid for a job of their choosing.  If not enough Local 110 members and in turn Travelers call in for a job that has been posted, our dispatch staff will call through the list of available Travelers to fill a Work Order.  If they call a Traveler who is showing as ‘available’ and that Traveler does not take the job offered, he or she is removed from the list.  Such Travelers can go on line and register again, but will then be registered at the bottom of the list.  Our dispatch staff will not call Travelers who are showing as ‘unavailable’, and those Travelers will keep their spot on the list.  Travelers who do not perform well when they work here may at the discretion of the Business Manager be denied employment here.


United States Travelers are only eligible to bid for a job that the Work Order reflects will allow for ‘TFWs’ to be dispatched if we can’t fill the call with Canadian journeymen.  In order for a contractor to be able to place a call for manpower that would allow for TFWs, they would have to have made arrangements in advance with Service Canada to get approval to do that through Immigration Canada with Work Visas.  Most of the Work Orders we’ve received the past couple of months do not allow for TFWs and we have been easily filling most of those calls for manpower quickly with Local 110 members and some Permit Worker helpers/apprentices.


This week, we have filled all of our calls for many journeymen with Local 110 members and dispatched only 10 Canadian Travelers.  We have not had opportunity to dispatch any United States Travelers because none of the Work Orders have allowed for TFWs.   


The Travel Card registry process has worked very well for Local 110 over the past several months and continues to, although we are not nearly as busy right now as we had been told by contractors and clients for years that we would be.  There are some factors affecting that which are beyond our union's control. For example, the proposed pipelines to the United States and through British Columbia to the west coast are being held up to date which is causing a bottle neck problem selling that oil and or selling it for a price that incents clients to extract more of it. As one of our union's Pension Plan managers noted, the differentical between the North American standard for oil prices, West Texas Intermediate and Western Canadian Select widened from about $10 to almost $40 per barrel.  The sharply lower price for Canadian oil reduced producer profits and led to more cautious capital spending in the energy sector.  


There are currently 455 Canadian Travelers on our registry, with 86 of them showing as available to go to work here. There are currently 520 United States Travelers on our registry, with 150 of them showing as available for work here.  


Many Travelers will purposely show their status as unavailable until they see a call on our Dispatch page that they are interested in.  They will then go on line that evening and change their status to available and call in to bid for the job the next morning.  Since implementing our Travel Card registry, we have in almost all cases been able to fill in short order any Work Order an employer has posted with us.  That has not gone unnoticed by our client community. They know where they can go to get as many skilled and productive members as they need.


April 11, 2013 Thursday


1.  Local 110 Recruitment advertising on CHED radio with union members' messages


A few union meetings ago, I reported to the membership about an initiative the PITT Fund has undertaken to recruit insulators with experience gained outside of our union that would include radio advertising.  We are referring them to our website's Permit Worker registry we've started recently.  We have talked to sales people representing a number of radio stations and chosen CHED radio to do that kind of advertising for us, heard in many areas of the Province, which has been happening for a number of weeks now.  We have expanded that advertising to recruit also inexperienced workers to become insulators, interviewing experienced and inexperienced applicants through our Training Trust Fund.


There are three types of messages we are having broadcast by the radio station, all of them done by members of our union.  One message reflects a member commenting on how he left the non union sector to do better through our union.  Another one is from a long time member noting how well he has done over the years for himself and his family.  The other one is from an apprentice who made a career change to become an insulator that has been rewarding.  I am looking for other members to do similar recordings in each category that will be aired after the original ones have aired for a period of time.  We will use different members from time to time for more such messages as we continue doing them.  Anyone interested should get hold of me and note which category best suits them and we will periodically do a draw at the office to select who does future recorded messages to be announced on the radio.


I have asked the radio station to notify me when our messages will be announced on air, so that I can pass that along to the Local 110 membership for them to listen to the station and hear them if they want.  They set the times up on relatively short notice and have given me the following dates/times when some of them will be aired.


This evening, they have a spot scheduled for 8:57 p.m.


April 12 – a spot is currently scheduled (spots can change for a number of reasons) for 1:46 p.m.


April 13 – 2 spots are currently scheduled for 7:29 p.m. and 11:11 p.m.


Our website promo advertisement on the CHED website ran today at 7:38 a.m.  That will be done again on April 12 at 2:15 p.m., April 13 at 9:40 a.m. and April 14 at 2:18 p.m.


I am sending a blast email out to our membership early this afternoon to those of our members who have Smart Phones the union pays for and to those of our members who have provided our union with email addresses that they want such emails sent to (call with your email address if you want it added to the list of them).


April 10, 2013 Wednesday


1.  April 28 Day of Mourning radio announcements from Local 110 for workers passed away from work related injuries


So that the public are aware of the carnage that is going on in Alberta workplaces, the PITT Fund has arranged with eight radio stations throughout Alberta to announce three different messages we have prepared to reflect that in the days leading up to the Day of Mourning on April 28.  You can see an earlier Update here that comments more about all of that.


Each message will take 30 seconds to be broadcasted with the radio stations doing that and the three messages will be split up amongst them.


The messages are as follows:


•        Prompted by labour unions, Canada became one of 80 countries declaring April 28 a national day of mourning to commemorate workers whose lives were lost because of workplace injuries.


A staggering 145 workers were accepted by Alberta WCB as having died in Alberta last year from predictable and preventable workplace injuries.  There were many more.


This message is brought to you from the Local 110 Insulator Union’s membership, mourning co-workers who’ve passed away over the years from exposure to hazardous insulation dusts.


•       Labour unions in Canada prompted the Canadian Government to declare April 28 a national day of mourning to commemorate workers whose lives were lost because of workplace injuries, a staggering 145 compensated for by WCB in Alberta last year.  There were many more.


Every year, similar numbers of workers are struck down like this while doing difficult jobs under difficult conditions facing real life dangers.


This message is brought to you from the Local 110 Insulator Union’s membership, mourning co-workers who’ve passed away over the years from exposure to hazardous insulation dusts.


•       Labour unions prompted the Canadian government to declare April 28 a national day of mourning for workers whose lives were lost because of workplace injuries, a staggering 145 compensated for by WCB last year in Alberta.  There were many more.


Take a moment that day to think about this ongoing tragedy and the friends, co-workers and family left mourning.  Make a commitment to improve health and safety in your workplace.


This message is brought to you from the Local 110 Insulator Union’s membership, mourning co-workers who’ve passed away over the years from exposure to hazardous insulation dusts.


The sales person for the radio stations will be providing us in advance of the broadcasting the dates and times as close as he can predict when these messages will be announced on which radio stations;  so that I can notify our union membership here of that should any of them want to listen to the stations to hear them.  


April 5, 2013 Friday


1.  April 28 Day of Mourning for Workers who’ve passed away because of work related injuries in Canada


Another year has almost elapsed since all Canadians observed the last ‘Day of Mourning’ on April 28, 2011 to commemorate those workers who passed away during 2011 after experiencing work related injuries.  Tragically, there are a similar number of deaths have occurred in Alberta again during 2012 as what occurred in 2011.


There were a staggering 145 deaths in Alberta during 2012 that WCB compensated for.  If one takes into consideration the many more deaths that WCB refused to compensate for, the overall number of work related deaths is much more shocking.  Some of those cases of denied Claims by WCB have been respecting members of our union who passed away from respiratory diseases and cancers after gross exposure to asbestos and other carcinogenic insulation products' dusts in their workplaces for many years. Such appeals are not easily won and few are won in spite of much evidence supporting them. 


There are also many workers who passed away from work related injuries who were self-employed such as farmers who do not have WCB coverage.  They were not included in the 145 number referred to above either.    


The result of this carnage is that there are many friends, co-workers and family left behind to mourn these deaths.  April 28 is the day we officially do that, but we can’t help but think about these deaths frequently throughout the year.  Let us all take at least a moment to think about that on April 28 and at the same time commit to improve health and safety on the jobsites we are on.  In other words, mourn for the dead and fight for the living as some put it.


All of these deaths were predictable and preventable.


The Day of Mourning was something that started in other countries many years ago, called different things in different countries as each of them declared April 28 that day.  Labour unions in Canada prompted the federal government in Canada to enact legislation doing likewise in 1991, making for 80 countries that do so now.  The CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) union started the Day of Mourning for its membership to observe in 1984.   


The PITT Fund, on behalf of Local 110 is working on making arrangements to pay for some radio advertising with a number of radio stations in the days leading up to this year’s Day of Mourning and on that date, to remind the public about how many deaths were recognized by WCB as having occurred this year; and to note that our own membership is mourning co-workers who passed away because of the hazardous nature of our trade and insufficient control measures being implemented on job sites to protect them.


April 4, 2013 Thursday


1. Habitat for Humanity (HfH) pre-fab shop work for volunteers for union built home 


I had asked in an earlier Update here last week for volunteers from Local 110 to call me that are interested in helping to build a 'union built home' in Edmonton for a family that could not otherwise afford to own such a home (they will assume the mortgage for the cost of that home, but pay no interest for it while they pay down the principle amount).


For those of you who are going to volunteer a shift or more of your time when you are not working, Habitat for Humanity (HfH) are going to start the project off by doing some 'prefab work' in their shop from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Thursday May 2nd.  If you can't do a full shift, you can work until noon that day.  They will be doing a 'photo opp' at lunchtime done with the ABTC (Alberta Building Trades Council) banner in the background.


HfH are going to put a 'Union Built Home' section on their website 'Habitat for Humanity Edmonton' that will periodically update everyone about how the home is progressing with construction.  You can see there a five minute vidio that explains how their program works called 'We sell our homes to families'.  They will also be showing on that site a 90 second testimonial of any members from our union that particpated in the last project when they constructed a 'union built home'. 


They will be doing more 'pre-fab' work in their shop on May 3, 4, 10 and 11.  I look forward to hearing from those of you that are going to volunteer for any of this work.  As with previous volunteers, I think you will get much satisfaction from knowing what you've done when the home is completed and you it was in part because of your efforts that the family moving in is able to enjoy a home they otherwise could not afford.


March 26, 2013 Friday


1.  Habitat for Humanity (HfH) Local 110 volunteers needed – Local 110 has assigned me to work with the volunteer manager of this organization to recruit union members from Local 110 to volunteer some of their time to work with members of other ABTC (Alberta Building Trades Unions to build a home in the Edmonton Ruthorford neighborhood. Such homes are for people who pre-qualify who would not otherwise be able to afford such a home. It is a way for you to give back to the community.  You will be shown what to do, including tasks that are not associated with insulating, whatever you are capable of doing, even if it is just lending a helpful hand.  Retirees are welcome.  Spouses of members are welcome to come and participate as a team.


It will be a two-story family 1500 square foot home you are helping to build.  If you are interested in volunteering one or more days of your labour to assist in building it, on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, please call me to pick a date in advance (there will be no work done on a long weekend and each shift of work will be from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.).     


They plan to build this home in 24 weeks and are hoping to have each of 16 Locals in the ABTC donate 18 shifts of work from amongst their membership to complete it. The goal is for each union to provide 137 hours of volunteer labour in total.  The building will start in late spring thisyear with a ground breaking ceremony to occur sometime in April.


Each day, HfH provide a lunch on site for the volunteers.  All of the tools and equipment that are needed will be provided on site.  Local 110 are going to post some pictures on our hallway monitor we have at the Edmonton union office, showing them doing some of that work. 


For more informatoin about HfH (Habitat for Humanity), go on line to the website 'Habitat for Humanity Edmonton'.


March 12, 2013


1.  Welcome Local 110 members to the new Local 110 website and this Marketing Update page


It is intended to provide you and others information about some of the initiatives our PITT Fund (Promotion of the Insulator Trade Trust Fund) is undertaking. I will keep you updated about them ongoing and any new ones that are decided by its Trustees.  As always, like I've done with other Updates in past years when I was in a different position, anything sensitive that is for members' eyes only will be sent in the way of blast emails to those of our members who have a smart phone the union provides and also to those who have provided us with personal email addresses.


This first Update is to let you know that the Trustees of the PITT Fund by virtue of their being Business Agents and the Business Manager of Local 110 are automatically appointed as Trustees in accordance with a motion that was passed by the Local 110 general membership at a general membership meeting.  They will continue as Trustees for that Fund for so long as they maintain those positions or until they are removed by the union.  Any new Business Agents or Business Manager in the future will take over the role of Trustee unless the union decides to appoint them differently.


In those positions, they are responsible to do all of the business of the PITT Fund, acting prudently and in accordance with the purposes set forth in the PITT Fund Trust Document when making decisions.  The other Trust Funds the union has operate in the same way, including the Local 110 Pension Plan, Health and Welfare Fund and Training Trust Fund.   


The PITT Fund was initially called the MERF fund when it was started in 2000, before it had a name change in 2008 and some changes were made to it addressing legislation changes that the Alberta Government enacted.  The legislation was enacted in 2008 to stop the Fund from subsidizing union contractors' bids for work and to regulate 'Salting' that was being done to try and organize non union insulating companies.  There were other unions in the Alberta Building Trades Council that also started MERF funds who likewise made such changes to them for the same reason.


The initial Trustees of the Insulator Union's MERF fund decided to hire a full time person to do the Fund's business shortly after it was created in 2000.  They chose a Local 110 member they thought was suited to work as a Marketing Director and have chosen successors to that position whenever it has been necessary to do so since then.  It was intended for that person to do organizing work for the union, but it was decided that using the term 'Organizer' was negative and the different title was decided upon. That first Marketing Director was later hired by our International Union to be the Western Canadian Organizer for our International Union.  


That Marketing Director resigned and a different Board of MERF fund Trustees chose another Local 110 member to take over that position who resigned after doing it for three years.  A subsequently elected Board of Trustees' then selected another Local 110 member to be Marketing Director and he did it for near six years before he was elected by the union membership to replace the retiring Calgary area Business Agent.  Those Trustees then hired myself when I proposed to step down as Business Manager to take on the Marketing Director role, so that in addition to doing some of the things previous Marketing Directors had been doing, I would be available to a new Business Manager and Agents for consultation to make for an easier and better transition for them into those positions.


I have worked in that Marketing Director position now for slightly over a year of a three year term, doing as directed by the Trustees.  I recently gave a report to the PITT Fund Trustees respecting my activities during that time and ran by them what I was focused on for the 2013 year, subject to their further direction.  I have given reports to the Local 110 union's general membership at their general membership meetings each month since I started in that position.